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Let 2015 be a Year of Peace, Progress and Harmony, says President in his New Year Message to Governors

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivered through Video Conferencing a New Year Message to the Governors/Lt. Governors using the National Knowledge Network from Rashtrapati Bhavan today (January 10, 2015).

Addressing the Governors/Lt. Governors, the President said the year gone by is significant. After three decades, the General Elections 2014 provided a stable government at the Centre with a clear majority for a single party, with a mandate for good governance. To realize the aspirations of our countrymen and guide India’s rightful ascent in the comity of nations, both the Central and the State Governments have to collectively share the responsibility.

The President reminded that as Governors, they are the first citizens of their states. They draw their authority from the Constitution and are oath-bound to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution and work for the welfare of the people of the state. India’s secular, democratic fabric is guaranteed by the Constitution. The Preamble proclaims securing to all its citizens ‘liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship’. They are further guaranteed by Articles 19 to 28 of the Constitution. The Constitution respects all religions. We have to be ever vigilant against all efforts to disturb peace and tranquility. Celebration of plurality, promotion of tolerance and understanding amongst all sections of the society must guide action in the discharge of Constitutional duties.

The President said Governors have the responsibility to play an active part in the development of Fifth and Sixth Scheduled Areas. The scourge of Left Wing Extremism should be tackled through the twin-pronged strategy of development and deterrence. For those who are Governors and Lt. Governors in States and Union Territories having international borders, another major issue is security in the border areas. While India is committed to peace and non-violence, we cannot afford the luxury of being complacent on our borders. Repeated violations of the ceasefire on the Line of Control and recent incidents of incursions off our coastal line are a matter of serious concern. We should be ready to take all steps necessary to ensure both internal and external security, and protect territorial integrity of our nation.

The President said education is an essential part of development. A sound education system is the bedrock of an enlightened society. He called upon Governors to pay special attention to educational institutions to ensure that they provide quality education and inculcate the core civilizational values of patriotism, compassion, honesty, tolerance, performance of duty and respect for women.

The President said a number of important initiatives like Swachh Bharat Mission, Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Make in India campaign and the Digital India programme have been launched in 2014. For successful implementation of these initiatives, wise leadership and gentle influence of Governors is essential. Their power of persuasion can act as a catalyst in this process of transformation. He called upon all contribute to the process of change.

DS/NK

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